1"You Oughta Be In Holos"
AN: Yup, I still don't own Star Wars. Well here's a completely ridiculous challenge fic that should be fun to read. Fun to write, anyway.
Leia thought it would be an ordinary day. Or at least what passed for ordinary in her life.
But it turns out that even a Force-sensitive politician can be wrong about that.
The first signs that this day wasn't ordinary in the least occurred in the morning, while Leia was grocery shopping. She was pacing the aisles, wondering just where this market sold nerf steaks, when she thought she saw a flash out of the farthest corner of her eye. Under normal circumstances, she would have simply ignored the flash, except that she felt someone behind the flash - and that someone, the Force told her, was looking right at her.
She whipped her head in the direction of the flash, only to find nothing. If she weren't Force-sensitive, she probably would have just brushed it off and gone about looking for nerf steaks, but to the great misfortune of whoever it was that was pursuing her, she was. Someone was there, she had no doubt now.
And then there came another flash. Leia looked around again only to find shelves, but this removed all doubt that someone was stalking her. So what was she to do when she felt certain that someone she couldn't see was stalking her?
She did exactly what almost anyone would do. She addressed her pursuer.
"All right," she shouted, not exactly thinking about how she was in a public place. "I know you're there, whoever you are, now show yourself!"
A third flash followed her statement, this one right in Leia's face, momentarily blinding her. When the spots cleared, she found herself staring at an orange reptilian creature (what were those things called again?) with a holocamera in his hands and a way-too-satisfied look on his face.
"Disa poifect!" the creature exclaimed. "Meesa got moi moi great shots of dessa hewo! Messa gonna get raise for sure!"
By now Leia didn't care where the nerf steaks were anymore - Han could eat something else. She growled at the holographer. "All right, who are you, and why are you taking holos of me???" she screamed in the voice she usually used when Han left his clothes on the floor.
"Meesa holographer for deesa Galactic Star," the creature explained. "Weesa doin a stowy about da moi moi vewy last suvivor fwom deesa pwanet Aldewaan! Befowe, yousa know, itsa went kablooie!"
Once Leia had deciphered what the holographer just said, she glared at him. "Now wait a second - I'm not the last survivor. There's an entire support group of Alderaanian survivors!"
"Yousa also moi moi big hewo," the creature continued, ignoring Leia's correction. "Weesa gonna wite about dat, yousa life as Huttsa slave, yousa nutsy fwight thwogh astwiods, yousa steamy affair with yousa wong-wost bwodder..."
"WHAT???" Leia shouted, dropping her bag of groceries. "Luke and I did NOT have an affair!!"
"Oooh, yousa denyin it cause yousa embawassed," said the holographer.
Leia growled like a Wampa. "If you print that in your holozine, you will be arrested and charged for libel." She grabbed the holographer's collar in a rather rough mode. "And I'll personally make sure you get the worst-possible sentence."
What she wanted more than anything right now was to see the holographer cower, but the creature didn't seem at all offended or afraid. "Oh, weesa get in twoble for libel all da timesa, but weesa gotta, yousa might be sayin, excusin." He shoved himself away from Leia and held up his holocamera. "Well, meesa gotta go get deese devewoped! Meesa gotta deadwine!"
Leia put her hands on her hips. "You know, this might come as a big shock to someone as intelligent as yourself, but NO ONE BELIEVES THE STUFF IN TABLOIDS!!!"
"Den how come weesa sell so many?" the creature retorted, after which he stuck out his tongue that was at least a meter long and ran out of sight.
Leia screamed in frustration, causing applause from the crowd that had gathered around her. Paying them no heed, she picked up her bag and stormed straight for the exit, barely remembering to pay for her food.
Han would just have to deal with the lack of nerf steaks.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Leia returned home wanting to slump down on the sofa and tell Han about her strange experience, but when she opened the door to their apartment, she was greeted by a rather unpleasant surprise. The sofa was already occupied, on one end by Han, lounging back so his body took up two cushions, and on the other end by an unfamiliar woman. Leia might have immediately rushed forward and tackled her for hitting on her husband, but the stacks of datapads on her lap and her fast manner of taking notes said that she was here on business.
Now what kind of business she was here on still might merit tackling.
"So, General Solo," the woman said with a thick accent, "is it true that you have given up on the consumption of alcoholic beverages?"
Han smirked. "Hell no. Where'd ya hear something like that? Just cause I was made a general doesn't mean I swore off enjoyin' myself."
"Ah, I see, so you're still an alcoholic," the woman said quickly, after which Han wrinkled his brows. He looked like he was about to say something when the woman added in that same rapid voice, "What exactly would you say motivated you to join the Rebellion?"
Han gave his cheeky grin. "Well, the princess would tell you that I just joined for the money, but I only told her that to get on her nerves when she was annoyin' me. Ya know, she was actin' all high-and-mighty when I had just rescued her - that's gratitude for ya, isn't it? Anyhoo, I really joined that Rebellion because..."
"Han, what are you doing??" Leia interrupted.
"Oh, hey sweetheart," Han said in a voice that sounded rather caught off-guard. "Back so soon?"
"And notice how you fail to answer the question," said Leia.
"Ah, the famous Princess Leia of Alderaan!" the woman on the sofa exclaimed. "I am deeply honored to meet you! Your husband was just telling me about all your escapades together."
"Oh was he?" Leia said with a sneer at Han.
"I don't believe we've been properly introduced," the woman continued. "I'm Sita Ryar, I'm a reporter for the Galactic Star, one of the most popular holozines in the galaxy." She stuck out a boney hand with long, glittery fingernails. "Once I'm finished with your husband, perhaps I could interview you?"
"No thank you," Leia said through her teeth before turning back to her husband. "Han, what's the meaning of inviting her in our apartment?"
"Gettin' interviewed for a holozine," said Han, looking at her like he couldn't believe she wasn't overjoyed. "We're famous now, might as well enjoy it."
"Han, the Galactic Star is a TABLOID," Leia said, making no effort to hide her exasperation.
Leia waved her arms. "So they make money by telling outrageous lies about famous people!"
"Then what're they doin' givin' interviews?" said Han with a smirk.
"Trying to get you to say something they can twist around," answered Leia. "That's what tabloids DO."
"WELL, I say!" the reporter exclaimed. "It doesn't take a tabloid to know that Princess Leia is indeed the most hot-tempered woman in the galaxy! I wouldn't interview you if you BEGGED me to!"
"Trust me, I WON'T," Leia snapped at the reporter. "And I would greatly appreciate it if you and your tabloid left us alone."
The reporter growled as she scrambled to gather her datapads in her arms. "I'll see to it that you regret this!" she snapped at Leia after she stood up.
"I'll see to it that you regret this," said Leia.
The reporter ignored her, instead flashing a large, phony smile at Han. "Oh, General Solo, you were a wonderful interviewee. I look forward to writing about you." She then stormed out of the apartment.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Well nice job chasin' her away," Han fumed after the reporter had left. "Jealous because she interviewed me first or something??"
Leia sighed as loudly as she could without completely losing air. "Han, just in case you didn't hear me before, she was working for a TABLOID."
"Yeah, awful word, I know," Han said, rolling his eyes.
Leia focused her energy on not exploding. "Apparently you've never so much as glanced at the Galactic Star."
"Have you?" said Han. "Does the sophisticated princess of Alderaan indulge in the guilty pleasure of readin' tabloids?"
Leia growled for what must be the fourth time that day.
"I'll take that as a yes," Han said as he put his feet up on the caf table.
"Han, you don't have to read the tabloids to know what's in them," Leia explained slowly, as if lecturing a student who was a slow learner.
"Oh, fraid I ruined your perfect reputation by wantin' a little attention?" Han said with a rather large smirk.
"Which part of 'tabloid' don't you understand??" exclaimed Leia.
"The part about them bein' a bad thing. They're good for a laugh."
Leia turned around so he wouldn't see her eyes roll.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Meanwhile, Luke was in trouble. More trouble than Leia and Han put together. Trouble that even his Jedi powers couldn't get him out of.
He was being pursued by what seemed like hundreds of teenage girls and young women of various species, all of whom appeared unable to control their hormones.
"LUKE SKYWALKER!! LUKE SKYWALKER!!!" several of them chanted.
"OH LUKE, YOU GOTTA MARRY ME OR I'LL DIE!!!" one screamed.
"LUKIE!! LUKIE!! I'M YOUR BIGGEST FAN!!!" another yelled, waving her six arms in the air.
"OH GODS, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S REALLY HIM!!!" shouted several others.
"MUST GET AUTOGRAPH!! MUST GET AUTOGRAPH!! MUST GET AUTOGRAPH!!!" came in big waves of yells from deep within the crowd.
Everyone in the universe has a breaking point - a point when he or she can't do anything about all of his or her courage vanishing. And for most people - Luke included - that breaking point comes when being mobbed by a bunch of people unable to control their hormones.
So Luke did the only thing he could do.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Tabloids are NOT published just to make people laugh!" Leia was shouting. "They're published to EXPLOIT famous people and spread wild rumors about them!"
"Says you," sniffed Han.
Their argument could have gone on all day, but fortunately, they were interrupted by some frantic knocking on the apartment door.
"Open the door! Open the door QUICK!!" they heard Luke's voice shouting from behind the door.
Leia rushed over to the door, opening it as quickly as her finger could reach the button, which revealed an out-of-breath, disheveled Luke who looked almost as bad as he did after his hand got cut off.
"Luke, what happened?" Leia asked.
"Did I lose them??" Luke said between gasps.
Luke turned around and stumbled over to the window, which made Leia notice the fushia marking on his cheek.
"Luke, is that...lipstick on your cheek?" she exclaimed.
"Been a naughty boy, kid?" smirked Han.
Luke's hand slowly reached up to his cheek and his face reacted in horror. "Ugh, I think one of them caught me."
"One of what caught you?" asked Leia.
"Caught you doing what?" asked Han.
After another vain attempt to catch his breath, Luke answered. "Mob of crazy teenagers...looked like they were starting the Luke Skywalker Fan Club or something. Or maybe they were just having a race to see which one could bed me first."
"You have all the fun," griped Han, after which Leia glared lightsabers at him. They probably would have started arguing again if it weren't for yet another knock on the door.
Luke frantically waved his hands, trying to prevent Leia from opening the door. "Whoever's on the other side is looking for me - I can sense it."
"You're paranoid, kid," said Han.
Luke humphed as he draped a curtain over his head. "Fine, but if they ask for me, I'M NOT HERE."
Leia opened the door to find a number of people that were considerably less than the mob Luke had described - in fact, it was just one person. It was an elegant-looking woman with long black hair who was fingering a holozine in her hand.
"My sources tell me that this is where I can find Luke Skywalker," she said. "Is this true?"
"Yes," said Leia, "but unfortunately, he told me to tell you he's not here."
"Oh I'm not with them," the woman quickly said. "I just happened to be around when he got caught in the ruckus."
Leia looked back at Luke, whose feet were sticking out from behind the curtain. "She says she's not with them - she just happened to be around when you got caught in the ruckus."
"That's what she wants me to believe," muttered Luke.
"I swear Mr. Skywalker, I'm not here to bed you," the woman said in a much louder voice. "I'm here to congratulate you."
That finally got Luke to poke his head out of the curtain. "Congratulate me?"
"Yes," said the woman, striding into the room even though she hadn't been invited in. "I work for Sentients Weekly, and I'm pleased to announce that you, Luke Skywalker, have been named the Most Attractive Bachelor in the Galaxy in our annual list!"
"What??" Luke, Leia, and Han exclaimed together.
The woman showed her holozine - and there on the cover was Luke's face, taken from the ceremony that followed the Battle of Yavin. Scrolling across Luke's torso were the words "Inside - The 50 Most Attractive Bachelors in the Galaxy."
"So I wanted to congratulate you, Mr. Skywalker," the woman continued, offering her hand to Luke (who by now had emerged completely from the curtain).
"Uh...thank you," said Luke, shaking the woman's hand.
"And apart from the extreme fame and glory," the woman continued, "part of the benefit of being featured in our list of Most Attractive Bachelors is a free five-year subscription to our holozine..." She shoved the holozine into Luke's hands. "...as well as the opportunity to have an entire issue devoted to your life's story." She batted her deep purple eyelashes at him. "So when can we schedule an interview?"
"Well..." said Luke, a large grin creeping across his face, "...I'm free right now."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"And you'll notice that they don't even have a 50 Most Attractive Bachelorettes list!" Leia fumed as the three of them were having lunch at Luke's favorite fast-food restaurant to "celebrate" his "achievement."
"Why do you care about that?" said Luke. "It's not like you would make it on the list if they did have one."
If Leia's glare that followed were a blasterbolt, it would have sliced right through him.
"Because you're married," Luke quickly said. "You know, it's only for people who are available."
"But supposing I weren't married?" Leia snapped. "You think I wouldn't make it then??"
"Well...uh..." Luke fumbled, "...er...let's face it, you're no supermodel..."
"Oh, you think I couldn't make it just because I EAT??" Leia shouted.
"Do I detect a hint of jealousy?" Luke said, a sudden grin spreading over his face. "Are we perhaps acting like normal siblings, where you're jealous of my achievement?"
Han snickered. "Well, you'd better feel lucky that I'm married, kid, or else it'd be me on that cover."
"What??" Luke exclaimed. "How do you know??"
"Ain't it obvious?"
"Sure it's obvious," said Luke. "Obvious that you don't work out! Come on, why would they choose someone lazy with a scar?!"
"LAZY?? SCAR???" Han shouted, taking notice of the people at the table across from them. "See if I ever go into a blizzard to save your butt again!"
"Someone's letting fame get to his head," Leia muttered.
They might have started a barroom-style brawl in a fast-food restaurant were it not for their sudden awareness of voices all around them.
"Is that Luke Skywalker?"
"And Leia Organa?"
"And Han Solo?"
Upon realizing they were being watched and recognized, all three of them immediately settled down and swallowed hard.
"I've got an idea," Luke whispered. "How about we all change our names and move to some remote planet?"
"Sounds pretty good," said Han.
But before they could carry through with that plan, a man with a short dark beard emerged from the group of observers and approached their table. "Hello, hello," he said, giving a gigantic smile. "I know who you are, and I'm sure you know who I am."
The man was greeted by only blank stares from the three.
"Well?" he continued. "Aren't you going to say something?"
"Uh...why would we know who you are?" said Luke.
The man looked exasperated. "Oh come on, you guys are joking, right? Everyone knows who I am! There isn't s a soul in the galaxy who hasn't heard of Egroeg Sacul, the famous holofilm director!"
The blank looks continued.
The man twitched his lips. "Okay, so I've only made two holofilms, but I have some famous friends. All I need is a really great holofilm idea for everyone to know my name."
"Well, uh, good luck with that," said Han.
"I already have my really great holofilm idea," the man said proudly. "I just need you guys to help it become a reality."
"What??" the three of them reacted together.
"It's perfect," Egroeg continued. "What story does everyone want to hear right now? Yours!"
"Uh, yeah, and all they gotta do is look at the news for that," said Han.
"Forget the news," said the director. "The news is only interested in what's current. If you leave it to them, you'll be old and stale as soon as the next big thing comes along." He adjusted his collar. "Now the holofilm industry - we're different. We can make you immortal."
"Uh, I suppose," said Leia. "But why would we want to sell our life story to you so you can make some easy profit off of it?"
"Hey, I'm not just out to make a profit - I'm out to tell a story." Egroeg gripped Luke's arm. "Your story."
"Nice try," said Han, "but I ain't about to let some second-rate pathetic actor portray yours truly."
"Who said anything about actors?" Egroeg said with a rather creepy twinkle in his eye.
The trio was silenced, giving each other uneasy looks.
"Are you saying..." Leia said once she found her voice, "...you want us to play ourselves?"
"Who better?" Egroeg said as if it was an obvious decision.
"Er...we all have busy lives," said Leia. "I'm not sure if we..."
"Sign me up!" Han interrupted. "Ya didn't say yours truly would be played by the genuine article - that's another matter altogether!"
"Hold it, Han," Luke quickly said. "Mr. Sacul, none of us have any sort of acting training."
"Speak for yourself," said Leia. "I was in a play when I was in sixth grade."
"That won't matter," the director said eagerly. "Just be yourselves, so to speak."
"Yeah kid," said Han. "Won't be too hard."
"Look, this is happening rather suddenly..." Luke began.
"No problem, I understand," said Egroeg. He flicked a small business card out of his pocket and handed it to Leia. "You guys can think about it for a while and call me back. What do you say we do lunch in a couple of days?"
"Uh..." the three said together.
"Perfect!" exclaimed Egroeg. "See you here in two days. Your people will talk to my people and we'll end up with the greatest holofilm in history!"
He shuffled back to his table, with Luke, Leia, and Han still staring at the place where he had been.
"Guys...what just happened?" asked Luke.
"I think we just became holofilm stars..." said Leia. She eyed her husband, folding her arms. "Well, at least that's better than being tabloid stars."
"Sheesh, am I the only one here who appreciates fame?" said Han. "C'mon, think of it. If we do this..."
"...I'll never be able to go grocery shopping again," moaned Leia.
"...I'll never be able to show my face among teenagers again," Luke moaned in a similar tone.
"Besides that," insisted Han. "We could win awards, get put in those hall-of-fame places...we could get merchandice!"
"So you want to exploit Alderaan's tragedy for the sake of kids buying a Han Solo action figure," Leia said, rolling her eyes.
"Hey, we're not exploitin' it," said Han. "If you use your big persistent senator thing on that Sacul guy, I bet he'd even donate a portion of the holofilm profits to the Alderaanian refugee fund or somethin'. Look at it this way - it's a way to make Alderaan's tragedy known."
Leia's eye-rolling abruptly stopped as her face slowly brightened up. "Hmmm...that's not a bad idea. In fact...maybe this film could help to promote the New Republic's ideals."
Luke stared at her. "Don't tell me you want to do this too!"
"What? You don't?" said Han.
"You guys actually want to act out everything we've been through??" Luke's voice grew more and more exasperated. "Being tortured, imprisoned, humiliated, shot, frozen, all of that??"
"It won't be real," said Han. "C'mon, lighten up a little."
"Luke, think about it," said Leia. "It's a way to spread our ideals around the galaxy."
"And don't forget the merchandice," said Han, shooting his crooked grin at the Jedi.
Luke stared at them for several moments before finally grunting and throwing up his hands. "All right," he said with a mock surrender gesture. "I'll do it."
"Great!" said Leia. "Come on, let's go tell that director before he leaves the restaurant."
Leia and Han began running enthusiastically towards the director's table, but Luke lingered behind, feeling like he had just been knocked on the head. What had he just gotten himself into? Had he just sold his soul to fame? Was he about to become an overblown celebrity that people doubted was even human? Or would the holofilm be a major flop and destroy his reputation permanently?
It looked like he was about to find out.